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Fatwa: Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf April 10, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Shari'ah.

EDIT:  It was inappropriate for us to post this "fatwa" online in the absence of information about the issuing scholar. We did so after checking that its contents were acceptable according to mainstream scholarship, and also wrote the provisos you see below, not endorsing the scholar since we don't know him. However, until this matter is cleared up, we have removed the document in question.

We received the below-linked fatwa* by e-mail, but unfortunately there wasn't much information about the scholar issuing it. His name is Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf, and I assume that it's not the same one mentioned here earlier. In fact, the signature at the end says (in Arabic): Muhammad Yusuf al-Husayni. If anyone has information about him, please do inform us.

Fatwa Concerning the Sanctity of Family in Islam [removed temporarily]

The fatwa is quite general in its scope, discussing the concept of family in Islam, then coming round to state that "all forms of homosexual practice [are] disordered, sinful and entirely forbidden and for every Muslim, male or female, being contrary to the plan of nature ordained by God". The fatwa also warns against the idea of "Reformation" in re-casting the religion to suit some people's desires. It speaks particularly to Muslims in Britain, and the following paragraph is interesting:

Therefore we rule that while the personal and sexual habits of other non-Muslim religious and secular communities in Britain are of no concern to us for comment, these communities being of themselves, nor of relevance to the internal practice of the Muslim umma in this country, for our ownselves among our own Muslim brothers and sisters, we are to safeguard the purity of the din [religion] of Islam, the sanctity of the Muslim family, and our faith’s moral teaching against zina [extra-marital sex] in all its forms.

EDIT: In fact, this point raised my eyebrows, because I wonder to what extent it is "of no concern for us for comment": surely we should be clear on our principles, and also recognise the adverse effect that homosexuality can have on society – OUR society, here in Britain, where we live! It's true that we should work more within our scope, i.e. the Muslim community, but the sentiment in the above quote seems overly secular and designed to shut up people like me. If the LGBT activists would leave the Muslims well alone, then it could be argued that they are of no relevance "to the internal practice of the Muslim umma in this country". As things stand, the writer is mistaken, in my humble opinion. And if he is indeed the same chap promoted by Peter Tatchell, then he is surely not sticking to his own stated policy of "no comment"!

While being a useful addition to the surprisingly sparse body of statements by scholars on this subject, this fatwa falls short of addressing details. Yes, we need it to be stated more and more that homosexual acts are forbidden. But many people need more answers, as their questions are abundant. Scholars should pay attention and issue authoritative fiqh clarifications, thereby closing the door to ignoramuses and charlatans.


* For those who don't know: a fatwa is a scholarly pronouncement on a new question, drawn from the Islamic jurisprudence based upon the Qur'an and the Sunnah (prophetic tradition). It is not a death-warrant, though the latter might be an example of a fatwa. I'm not sure that the statement published is, in the strictest sense, a fatwa, rather than a scholarly exposition of a general topic.



1. Yousef - April 10, 2006

Interesting..there’s an emblem at the bottom near the signature that reads “alTaqwa walFakhr” (Piety and Pride)…It seems like a British organization (from the wording in the fatwa). I have never heard the name before.

2. Rais Ali - April 10, 2006

WARNING- BEWARE: There is a man named Asif Churdry who left Oxford after failing his medical exams and returned several years later with a false identity calling himself “Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Husayni- the Oxford Muslim Chaplain”. He was supported by the Oxford Jewish Centre where his first main lecture was held. Eventually Muslims in Oxford recognised him and informed the authorities and he was arrested. The aim of this fatwa, if its from him, I think is to raise his profile once again to serve the Zionist cause. The original plan was to use him to replace genuine Ulama such as Shaikh Nadwi in Oxford. Please be careful before promoting fatwas, articles from people you do not have a full background information. Perhaps you can contact the Muslims in Oxford for more details.

3. Rasheed Eldin - April 10, 2006

Thank you – I will look into this.

4. Rasheed Eldin - April 11, 2006

It seems that this "Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf" is indeed the same one promoted by Peter Tatchell, especially if what Rais Ali says above is true. I have written several times to the people who emailed this document, and will now give them 3 days to clarify the matter.

Please see what I wrote about "Sheikh Dr." Muhammad Yusuf in a previous post, after doing some Googling:


I assumed the one who wrote this document couldn't be the same guy, since he has apparently done such an about-turn in his opinions, especially on the idea of Reformation! What would Tatchell think? And what is Yusuf's intention in sending us this document? Watch this space… in about 3 days we should be able to clear things up in sha' Allah.

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